Integrated vs Fully Integrated Dishwashers: Difference

The main difference between an integrated dishwasher and a fully integrated dishwasher is the visibility of the control panel. An integrated dishwasher has a partial cabinet door attached to the front, leaving the control panel exposed at the top. A fully integrated dishwasher has a full cabinet door attached to the front, hiding the control panel inside the door.

Both types of dishwashers are designed to blend in with the rest of the kitchen cabinets, creating a sleek and seamless look. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages to each option that you should consider before buying one. In this article, we will compare the features, benefits, drawbacks, and costs of integrated and fully integrated dishwashers, and help you decide which one is best for your kitchen.

Features of Integrated and Fully Integrated Dishwashers

Both integrated and fully integrated dishwashers have similar features and functions, such as:

  • Different wash cycles and programs to suit different types of dishes and loads
  • Various options for loading and arranging the dishes, such as adjustable racks, cutlery baskets, and trays
  • Energy efficiency and water saving features to reduce the environmental impact and utility bills
  • Noise reduction technology to minimize the sound of the dishwasher during operation
  • Safety features such as child lock, anti-flood, and anti-leak systems to prevent accidents and damage

However, there are some differences in the features of integrated and fully integrated dishwashers, such as:

  • The location and accessibility of the control panel. An integrated dishwasher has the control panel at the top of the door, which makes it easy to see and operate. A fully integrated dishwasher has the control panel inside the door, which means you have to open the door to access it. Some models of fully integrated dishwashers may have a display or indicator light on the outside of the door to show the status of the cycle, but not all of them do.
  • The appearance and style of the dishwasher. An integrated dishwasher has a partial cabinet door that matches the rest of the kitchen cabinets, but it also has a visible control panel and handle that may contrast with the cabinet design. A fully integrated dishwasher has a full cabinet door that completely covers the appliance, creating a uniform and uninterrupted look. However, some people may prefer to have some contrast and variation in their kitchen design, rather than a monotonous and bland look.
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Benefits of Integrated and Fully Integrated Dishwashers

Both integrated and fully integrated dishwashers have some benefits that make them appealing to many homeowners, such as:

  • They save space and improve the layout of the kitchen. Both types of dishwashers are built into the kitchen cabinets, which means they do not take up any extra floor space or interfere with the traffic flow of the kitchen. They also help to create a more organized and tidy look, as they do not have any cords or hoses sticking out.
  • They enhance the aesthetics and value of the kitchen. Both types of dishwashers are designed to blend in with the rest of the kitchen cabinets, creating a sleek and seamless look. They also add a touch of modernity and sophistication to the kitchen, which can increase the appeal and value of the home. Many home buyers and renters prefer to have a dishwasher in their kitchen, especially one that is integrated or fully integrated.
  • They offer more flexibility and customization options. Both types of dishwashers can be installed in different locations and configurations, depending on the size and shape of the kitchen and the preferences of the homeowner. They can also be customized to match the style and color of the kitchen cabinets, or to create a contrast or accent. For example, you can choose a stainless steel or black control panel for an integrated dishwasher, or a different color or material for the cabinet door of a fully integrated dishwasher.

Drawbacks of Integrated and Fully Integrated Dishwashers

Both integrated and fully integrated dishwashers also have some drawbacks that you should be aware of before buying one, such as:

  • They are more expensive and difficult to install. Both types of dishwashers require more work and expertise to install, as they have to be fitted into the kitchen cabinet structure and connected to the plumbing and electrical systems. They also need a cabinet door that matches the rest of the kitchen cabinets, which may not be readily available or compatible with the appliance. Therefore, they are more costly and time-consuming to install than freestanding dishwashers, which can be simply plugged in and hooked up to a faucet.
  • They are harder to repair and replace. Both types of dishwashers are more integrated into the kitchen, which means they are harder to access and service if they break down or malfunction. They may also require more specialized parts and tools to fix, which can be more expensive and scarce. Moreover, they are harder to replace, as they have to be removed from the cabinet structure and replaced with a new one that fits the same dimensions and specifications. This can limit the choices and availability of new dishwashers, as not all models and brands may be compatible with the existing cabinet and appliance.
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Costs of Integrated and Fully Integrated Dishwashers

The costs of integrated and fully integrated dishwashers vary depending on the model, brand, size, features, and quality of the appliance. However, in general, integrated and fully integrated dishwashers are more expensive than freestanding dishwashers, as they have more design and installation requirements. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of an integrated dishwasher ranges from $700 to $1,500, while the average cost of a fully integrated dishwasher ranges from $800 to $2,000. These costs do not include the installation fees, which can add another $200 to $500 to the total cost.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between an integrated and a fully integrated dishwasher depends on your personal preferences, budget, and kitchen design. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide:

  • Do you prefer to have the control panel visible or hidden?
  • Do you want to have a uniform and seamless look or some contrast and variation in your kitchen design?
  • How much space and flexibility do you have in your kitchen layout and cabinet structure?
  • How much are you willing to spend on the purchase and installation of the dishwasher?
  • How often do you use the dishwasher and what features and functions do you need?

There is no right or wrong answer to these questions, as different people have different tastes and needs. However, here are some general guidelines to help you choose:

  • If you prefer to have the control panel visible and accessible, and you do not mind having some contrast and variation in your kitchen design, then an integrated dishwasher may be a good option for you.
  • If you prefer to have the control panel hidden and out of sight, and you want to have a uniform and seamless look in your kitchen design, then a fully integrated dishwasher may be a better option for you.
  • If you have limited space and flexibility in your kitchen layout and cabinet structure, and you want to save some money on the purchase and installation of the dishwasher, then a freestanding dishwasher may be the best option for you.
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Conclusion

An integrated dishwasher and a fully integrated dishwasher are two types of dishwashers that are designed to blend in with the rest of the kitchen cabinets, creating a sleek and seamless look. However, they have some differences in the visibility of the control panel, the appearance and style of the dishwasher, and the costs and installation requirements of the appliance. The choice between the two depends on your personal preferences, budget, and kitchen design. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the difference between an integrated and a fully integrated dishwasher, and has given you some tips on how to choose the best one for your kitchen.